MEDFORD, Ore.- Finding an available and affordable apartment in Jackson County is difficult, especially if you're a person or family flagged as high risk to a landlord. That's the case for one who's looking for a job at the same time as he's looking for an apartment.
William Sheppard has been looking for a place to live for a couple of years now, "I would say if you're going to need housing anytime within the next year you better of gotten started last year."
William has goals to meet before he can move out of his in-laws home saying, "It's extremely important to have a job and steady income."
William says the apartment search is competitive, "There's like hundreds of people looking for the same thing I'm looking for."
ACCESS says countywide, only 1% of available rentals units are open.
William says, "It's a long process long and drawn out extremely difficult."
This shortage of affordable housing means landlords can be picky with their tenants.
Matthew Vorderstrasse, Supervisor at ACCESS says, "Landlord are often able to cherry pick individuals that pose the least amount of risk. So as a result for a lot of the families that we are working with, that are low income, that presents a massive barrier that we have to then work around."
ACCESS says many families they work with are unemployed and trying to live off public assistance while trying to find a place to live.
Matthew says, "Because they don't have an income they are often times unable to qualify for available rentals that may be available."